A 500-pound space rock about two feet in diameter entered the Earth's atmosphere outside of Pittsburgh last night, according to NASA. The object, detected by three NASA meteor cameras, was moving at a speed of 45,000 miles per hour. Visibility was lost at an altitude of 13 miles, but the space agency speculates that fragments, or meteorites, might be found on the ground east of Kittanning, PA. NASA posted this animation from the meteor's perspective showing its trajectory as it raced towards western Pennsylvania.
NASA maintains a network of more than a dozen specialized black-and-white cameras in its All Sky Fireball Network. The growing network of cameras was set up by the NASA Meteoroid Environment Office (MEO) with the aim of observing fireballs, or meteors brighter than the planet Venus. Fifteen cameras are currently spread across the US offering overlapping fields of view, each located at schools, observatories, and other public spaces designed for the worship of science.